Breath it in

Posts Tagged ‘Spring Training’

E-mail to sports fans

Posted by mvetack on February 15, 2011

Dear Sports Fan,

Are you kidding me! the Cavs finally won a game against my fantasy star Blake Griffin and the Clips.  I guess no one can really be surprised by the Clippers being the first victim in 26 games.  Weren’t you lookin forward to the Wizards 0 – and everything on the road vs the Cavs losing streak?  Well that game was still played and the Wiz finally won on the road.  Combine the Cavs ending their losing streak, the Wizards getting their first road W, and the Ohio State Buckeyes losing for the first time on the season, and you got quite a week for ending streaks. 

Did you watch that Kansas – Kansas St game last night? Pullins went OFF for State.  They made Kansas look like a cupcake and not the number one seed that they had gained just hours earlier.  Remember when K State was supposed to be a good team.  Top 5 to start the season.  Now they might be playin in the NIT. 

Spring Training has begun.  As exciting and happy I am for Spring Training, it does not do too much for me.  I love watching some spring training games and hearing about some baseball stories but we are still over a month away from real baseball and Spring Training just isnt the same.  Maybe I should go next Spring and catch some of the games. 

Pujols is gonna get paid  a TON of money but the question is by who?  I gotta think they Cards and Albert will come to an agreement and not let him walk.  Pujols could be the greatest player ever behind Babe Ruth.  You do what you have to do to keep that guy.  He is a once in a life time player. 

I know its been out a while but I love the Ovechkin “This is Sportscenter commercial”.  I don’t think I have ever seen one of those comercials I didn’t enjoy. 

Don’t look now but Nash is making a run at Rondo and his league leading assists per game.  In the past week Nash averaged about 3 more assists per game than Rondo and is now just over 1 asssist per game behind Rondo.  I think this is the NBA story that no one is paying attention to and will be fun to watch down the stretch. 

The biggest arguement in basketball is how to rank the top PGs.  For some reason no one likes to rank any other position.  Here is my top 7 point guards.  Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Jason Kidd, Rajon Rondo,  Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook.  Deron and Paul I think are in a class alone.  Both can fill up the score sheet and dish out assists like nothihng.  If they were not such good scorers they would be putting up the same assist numbers of Nash and Rondo.  Rose is next.  He is one of the best scorers in the league and is so difficult to guard one on one.  Maybe impossible.  And with his pretty good jumper this year he is just too dangerous now.  I got Kidd over Rondo because he is a better passer I believe and easily a better shooter.  Rondo has the defense edge and quickness but not being able to shoot a lick just can not put you ahead of Kidd.  Nash is next for me because his offense is so well rounded as a dominate passer, offense runner, shooter.  His D is just too lacking for me for him to be top 5.  Russ is 7th because of how explosive he is.  He moves too quick and fast sometimes and gets charges called and throws up off balanced shots in the lane.  But his skills are right there with Rose and he could be on his level pretty soon.


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The 9 types of Sports Announcers

Posted by mvetack on May 14, 2010

Every sports fan shares a relationship to a certain extent with announcers, especially home town announcers.  Sitting on your couch with cheetos covering your fingers, your dog passed out on the floor, and your faithful announcer on the TV is just a regular day for you.  Whether you like it or not, or realize it or not, you spend a lot of time with announcers.  Even the ones that do just Nationally televised games you come to know and love (or not).  Here is a guide to the 9 types of announcers your have probably come across in any and all sports.

The Cynic

The cynic is possibly the most annoying of announcers.  He does know a lot about his given sport and makes sure people know it.  Any play or shot that is bobbled or missed he makes sure the whole audiences knows about it for a while.  Up 7-0 in the 8th and your SS is a little late backing up a throw to second?  The Cynic will point this out and talk about it for the rest of the game.  In the Cynic’s eyes an opposing teams lead is always just out of reach and a lead is never safe.  Everyone deserves to be traded and does not deserve their pay check.  The interesting thing about the Cynic is the better the team the worse shape they are in.  Going for a perfect 16-0 season? You will probably lose in the first round of the playoffs.  Too much of the Cynic may lead to excessive use of the mute button.

Probable teams the Cynic announces for –  Mets, Sharks, Chargers, Hawks

Super Fan 99

Super Fan 99 is exactly that, a super fan.  This guy lives and dies with his team and has no problem showing every single emotion on his sleeves.  During the course of a season you will probably hear this man cry, laugh, cheer, and yell in anger multiple times.  Every win is greater than his child’s birth and every loss is worse than the day his best friend died.  Do not try to argue against his team as it will probably end with blood, tears, and broken bones for someone.  The off season for Super Fan 99 is longer than a cross country road trip.  Although you can not knock his passion, you can certainly knock his “homer” style of announcing.

Probable teams Super Fan 99 announces for – Bruins, Lakers, Packers, Gretzky

Old and Crazy

You may have seen Old and Crazy in a science book with the alias Albert Einstein.  This guy is older than that oak tree at the house you and your friends dare each other to walk up to on Halloween.  With old age does not always mean wisdom for Old and Crazy.  Yes at some point in his life he probably made a fine announcer.  But now, he is the best remedy for someone who struggles to to fall asleep.  A ground ball out in the third inning will be followed by a run on sentence lasting till the sixth inning by Old and Crazy.  It would be one thing if there was any meaning to his incoherent rambling, but you definitely end up a dumber person because of him.  Most of his commentating has nothing to do with the football game you are watching or sports in general.  Because of his age and lack of caring, there is always the chance you will hear a couple cuss words or racist comments in the telecast.  The only hope you have when dealing with the Old and Crazy announcer is the fact that the man upstairs may be calling him soon.

Probable teams Old and Crazy announces for – Dodgers, Rams, Hartford Whalers

The Professional

There is nothing great about the Professional but there is nothing terrible either.  This guy is worried most about what critics and fans think of him than anything else.  Coming dressed as if he were meeting the President and treating his announcing career as if he were a news anchor really makes him look out of place.  Clean cut with his looks and what he says is his style.  The Professional tries his best, and succeeds, so much not to be a “homer” in case he gets the call from Fox or ABC to be a national guy.  A walk off HR gets the same reaction as a second quarter punt to the Professional.  Although you may not dislike the Professional, there is nothing really to get excited about when listening to him.

Probable teams The Professional announces for – Blue Jays, 76ers, 49ers

Fame Seeker

The Fame Seeker has one goal in mind entering every single telecast.  That is to get his voice on SportsCenter.  You know how it goes sometimes on Sportscenter, a game winning shot is made and Scott Van Pelt and John Buccigross let the announcer “take it away”.  That is where the Fame Seeker wants to be at the end of the night.  The Fame Seeker is up all night writing witty sayings that he hopes will catch on in the general public.  If he is so lucky to call a triple overtime game with a buzzer beater or a perfect game, he will knock his partners out of their chairs and cover their mouths just so he can shout out his own “Do you believe in miracles!!!”.  Because the Fame Seeker is trying too hard to be the “He Gone” guy, he never will find the fame he is looking for, well he may end up on a viral video saying something like “Bingo Bango”.

Probable teams The Fame Seeker announces for – White Sox, Bobcats, Your local College team

Story Teller

The Story Teller is almost always an ex-player or coach that has found his second profession in the booth.  His go to strategy is to relate (the thinnest way possible) something that he sees to something that happened on his team back in his day (which was always a better time).  By the end of one season with this guy or even one game, you will know what size shoe he wears, who he roomed with in 1972, and how much he did not get paid back in the day.  The Story Teller is very knowledgeable about the game and more than likely able to write a great book.  The problem is, he pretty much says a books worth of stories in just a couple of hours every night.  Just about every commercial break the Story Teller is certain to start a story that in no way he can wrap up in the given time, but don’t you worry you will hear it when they come back.

Probable teams the Story Teller announces for – Reds, ESPN

Mr. Fundamentals

Mr. Fundamentals is always an ex-coach from any level.  He also is more than likely to have a kid playing as a role player in the league he announces for.  Alley Oops, baggy shorts, the DH, and two running back systems are not for Mr. Fundamentals.  With a Jason Richardson between the legs dunk at one end and a post up turn around jumper from the elbow from Garnett at the other end to choose from to talk about, it is Garnet’s Elbow jumper all the time.  Mr. Fundamentals is always holding a bat, ball, or both while announcing for a chance to show off the fundamental way of bunting, shooting, or gripping a curve ball.  If you are an 8 year old watching this telecast you should pay attention and learn a lot from this guy.  If you are a 32 year old, watch and create a drinking game of some sort.

Probable teams Mr. Fundamentals announces for – Jazz, Braves, Tim Duncan

Idea Man

The Idea Man is the youngest guy on the list.  He plays fantasy sports more than he bathes and has the solution to every team’s problems (especially his own teams).  After a 2 – 2 start he is calling for a 23 way trade that would get rid of the quarterback and get a future hall of famer in his prime, and don’t worry, it makes sense trust him.  The Idea Man played high school sports and captained his college intramural team.  He shouts out of the booth down to the Outfielders to shift left and right all while looking up every stat imaginable so he can “tell” the team who to call up from the minors.  Draft day is more entertaining to the Idea Man than a Rocky Marathon in 3-D! Which by the way would be fricken awesome.  5 out of every 250,000 of the Idea Man’s ideas actually happen and 1 out of those 5 actually work.

Probable teams the Idea Man announcers for – Red Sox, Redskins, Knicks, his own fantasy team if he could

Living the Life

The Living the Life announcer might just be the most likable of all the announcers.  Although he cares for his team, he realizes that it isn’t the end of the world if they lose or make a questionable decision.  The Living the Life announcer realizes that he gets to talk about the game and team he loves on a daily basis and gets paid for it.  In the off season he is probably sitting on a beach with a cold drink in hand until the sun goes down.  Living the Life tells it like it is and has fun along the way.  No one gets more excited about the Aflac trivia question then this guy and no one will congratulate you more if you get it right.  Living the Life has probably retired from his career job to live in his dream location covering his favorite or just most convenient team for the area he now calls home.  The only reason to hate this guy is for the life he has which you are jealous of or you are over passionate and expect him to be the same.

Probable teams Living the Life announces for – Jaguars, Marlins, NBA Kings, any and all Spring Training games

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Can’t blame World Baseball Classic this time

Posted by mvetack on March 9, 2010

Injuries are part of the game and as much as guys prepare against them, they happen.  Joe Nathan threw a pitch in a regular spring training game and now has a torn UCL ligament (basically an elbow stabilizer).  The injury could cause Nathan to miss the entire 2010 season.  This injury happened in spring training and yet there is not talk of spring training needing to be canceled because it can injure or break down players.

Yes this is an over the top statement that I do not believe makes any sense but whenever a guy got hurt in the World Baseball Classic or a player started off slow in the regular season, people blame the World Baseball Classic for it.  Both times the WBC has taken place, more so this past one, nearly every mind in baseball with ten seconds of tv or radio time trashed the WBC for it is too risky for players to take part in.  Yet it is spring training where Joe Nathan got hurt this season, not the WBC where he played last year.

For some unknown reason people want more spring training and less entertainment in a world baseball tournament.  Yes the players will play more meaningful innings but they play about the same amount as they do during regular spring ball.  If anything they are more prepared for the regular season because of the top competition and playoff atmosphere taking place in March.

I just hope that when the WBC comes around again and someone stubs a toe, everyone remembers that injuries happen in spring training too.  Baseball is baseball.  Whether its a tournament or a wiffle ball game, injuries happen.

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